Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact

Affordable at-home fertility treatment - Tess Cosad of Béa Fertility

February 21, 2023 Maiko Schaffrath Episode 128
Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact
Affordable at-home fertility treatment - Tess Cosad of Béa Fertility
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Tess Cosad, the co-founder and CEO of Bea Fertility. A company making fertility care more convenient and affordable. The company is leveraging a method called IntraCervical Insemination or ICI, which has proven to actually have a 50% success rate at only a 10th of the cost of IVF.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • [0:30] Tess Cosad’s background.
  • [1:56] Fertility & Infertility, who actually has this problem?
  • [3:43] How do existing solutions work?
  • [6:27] Why was IUI the go-to treatment?
  • [9:07] Strategy behind bringing back the treatment into the market 
  • [12:03] Challenges and barriers in launching the product
  • [14:57] Success factors for the business
  • [17:48] Experiences during a biassed system during fundraising
  • [19:52] Advice for other female founders in that field of work
  • [20:55] Challenges or lessons in building a company 
  • [25:23] Thoughts on learning and same time navigating dysregulated environment
  • [27:42] How do you navigate customer feedback vs your perspective
  • [30:15] Future challenges that you need to overcome to make a step forward
  • [32:42] Tess’s 10-year vision  

KEY LESSONS & QUOTES

  • “ Fertility is not a women's health issue, and when we make it that we take away the responsibility from men, for their fertility” [2:32]
  • “In the US you're looking at 3,4, $5,000 for a round of IUI. What we're trying to do is deliver this treatment straight to people's homes for a 5th to a 10th of the cost of IVF. ” [4:40]
  • ”90% of treatments, require heterosexual intercourse, to be used. What that means is people for whom intercourse is not a part of their family building story, cant benefit from the treatment” [10:21]

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Maiko:

In today's episode, I speak to Tess Cosad the co-founder and CEO of Bea Fertility. A company making fertility care more convenient and affordable. The company is leveraging a method called Intra Cervical Insemination, or ICI. Which has proven to actually have a 50% success rate at only a 10th of the cost of IVF. So we'll talk about how that method works and it's really great to have you on the show Tess, thanks for coming.

Tess:

It's so great to be here, Michael. Thank you for having me.

Maiko:

Thank you. I wanna start with your entrepreneurial journey briefly to get people a bit of background on you. What's been your journey into actually co-founding Bea Fertility and why are you doing this?

Tess:

Great question. I always preface this story by saying it's really not the most exciting co-founding story, but then I think about it and I think, every co-founding story or founding story is exciting in its own right. Bea, it's three years old now. And really, it's born of an idea to take something that we believe should really be a fundamental human right, which is access to the care you need to start your family. And today that right doesn't really exist, not for everybody. And there was born of a shared passion to, fix that to make that better. Now, I'm not a technical founder, I'm not a scientist. I'm actually a marketer. So I used to run an ad agency. My background is very much on the commercial side, and I met an embryologist about three years ago now, and he had this idea, he had this vision and this passion, and I thought, god, you know what? There's really something here, and at the time I was working in women's health and I thought, this is where I wanna be, this is the space I wanna be in, this business makes so much sense. And so I've never looked back. There have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but they are was founded three years ago by the two of us.

Maiko:

Amazing. We'll talk about the ups and the downs later on in the episode and some lessons learned there. But let's talk about this problem of fertility or infertility and who actually has this problem, because I know you also very consciously addressing quite a broad spectrum of people that are dealing with fertility. So give us a bit of an idea of how big this problem is and how it's being solved right now?

Tess:

Yeah, it's a pretty big problem. So that's always the one thing I get so frustrated when I'm fundraising and I'm told that we're niche or the market's small, or it's a women's health issue, none of these things are right. Your fertility is not a women's health issue. And when we make it that we take away the responsibility from men, for their fertility. So I think it's so important to be so upfront about that this is a human health issue and it impacts so many of us. Today, it's one in six so in every audience that I ever speak to, I look around the room and I can count the number of people who are dealing with infertility. Statistically, just cause we're not talking about it doesn't mean that we don't have this problem. If you look at the data on human fertility more broadly, there are some concerning trends, sperm counts have declined by about 50% since the seventies. The diagnoses of endometriosis, PCOS all of these sort of hormonal related conditions are an all time high in women. Testosterone is down and all of these things are adding up to really one thing, which is it is only going to get harder and harder to start our families. So the problem of infertility, really what we see, the trends that we see in the data in the science of Bea is that this is really just beginning. We're really at the beginning of what's gonna become a pretty significant problem.

Maiko:

Got it. So how do existing solutions work? Obviously a lot of people would've heard of IVF and that's probably where my knowledge ends. but what are the existing solutions out there and how do they work?

Tess:

Yeah, IVF is obviously the most common fertility treatment, but it's also not the most popular globally. Actually, the most popular fertility treatment globally is IUI, intrauterine insemination happens in a clinic, happens under sedation, still an invasive medical procedure, but rather than egg and sperm cell meeting in a petri-dish as they do in IVF, a semen sample is washed process in the lab and then injected directly into the uterus where fertilization happens in the uterus, in the fallopian tube. So IUI, it's a clinical treatment. It is globally the most popular, fertility treatment, it's often the treatment that people try before they go to IVF just because it's a little less invasive. It's a little less expensive, but it's still not cheap. In the US you're looking at 3, 4, $5,000 for a round of IUI. Really what's so interesting about this sector of medicine is there's really nothing between trying at home and getting incredibly frustrated and going and spending $5,000 on an invasive medical procedure at home. It's nothing, there's this sort of desert of care where people have no choices and that's really what we're trying to fill. So at Bea what we're trying to do is bring back an old clinical treatment that was called ICI interest cervical insemination. And ICI used to be the defactor clinical treatment, up until about the late seventies when IVF was invented. Now ICI kind of fell off the menu of available clinical treatment options, as it were. And what we're doing is we're bringing it back, it's super simple. It involves placing semen into a cervical cap and placing that cap up against the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus, if you will. And by concentrating semen at the opening of the uterus, you increase the chance of sperm cells, making it into the uterus and reaching an egg. In all of the longitudinal data that we have on ICI, the pure reviewed evidence shows that it compares, in terms of efficacy to the advocacy of IUI. What we're trying to do is deliver this treatment straight to people's homes for a fifth to a 10th of the cost of IVF. So really what we're trying to do is create new step in the treatment pathway that's affordable, inclusive and not invasive and those are the options. Sorry Michael, that was a very long answer to the question of what are the fertility treatment options I took you on a journey there.

Maiko:

Yeah no, that makes sense. It's really good that you did that because it really compares, puts you into this landscape of existing, solutions out there. Why was it this go-to treatment and declined? Okay, IVF came up. IVF is still quite a, yeah, it's a expensive thing to do. So why is it that declined in popularity?

Tess:

Yeah, so there's some answers, some more cynical than others, but in terms of ICI fading away from the physician's perspective, a better option came up. IVF is a lot more effective. They thought that IUI was a lot more effective, and these treatments, when you're trying for a family you really don't feel like you have a lot of time. So to go straight to a treatment that's a lot more effective, seemingly effective feels like the right decision, clinically. There's another answer to that, which is that a lot of fertility clinics today are private equity backed and out. So fertility is a sort of funny sector of medicine, it's not cardiology, it's not oncology, it's not life or death medicine, similar to dental, similar to dermatology. These are sectors of medicine in which the patients often are not, life or death is, are not serious conditions, but nevertheless, the patient pain point's incredibly high. You ask a teenager how they feel about their acne, and they'll tell you that, they'll die at school if they have horrible acne, the patient pain point really high. But because it's not life or death medicine, what this means is the clinician in trust, the physician interest, and the interest of a publicly funded healthcare system remains relatively low. And so the provision of care often doesn't really keep up, or what happens is these sectors of medicine become increasingly privatized. When they become privatized, you start to see the incentives aligning against maximizing revenue, against aligning the incentive of the healthcare sector to the incentive of the investor, which isn't always necessarily where, in the best interest of the patient, and we've seen a shift happening in fertility towards offering more expensive, more invasive IVF because the clinic makes more money on that.

Maiko:

So is this kind of the opportunity you're leveraging that just a lot of other players aren't really looking at this because it may not be as profitable and you're the disruptor and the classical disruption model where, maybe they just basically dismissing it because is better to basically go IVF from a business perspective.

Tess:

Exactly.

Maiko:

Got it. Okay, so tell us more about how you're actually building that out. What's your strategy to actually bringing this to market and cutting through the noise and getting people to get back to this treatment?

Tess:

Yeah, so what we're trying to do is build a full treatment kit We're not just gonna ship you a, an artificial insemination device. We're trying to create a treatment experience that is similar to what you get, where you to be in the clinic. So every cycle, every roughly every month, but broadly mapped to a menstrual cycle, you receive a complete treatment kit and it's got two insemination devices in it. The insemination devices can be thought of as applicators. The applicators contain the cervical cap that you pour semen into in place on the cervix. So the kit contains two insemination devices and two semen collection containers. The reason the semen collection containers feel important to mention, they're by no means the most glamorous part of the streaming kit. But what they are is, they represent inclusivity for us in a really unique way. A lot of the home treatment solutions, there are some things that exist that sort of serve the home market today. Most of them, 90% of them, I would say, require heterosexual intercourse, to be used. So the semen is deposited either into a camp using a condom, so you have intercourse to collect it or directly into the vaginal canal through intercourse, and then something's inserted after that. What that means is people for whom intercourse is not a part of their family building story. And the most obvious with same sex female couples, maybe single women who are using unknown donor, but there are whole other groups of people, physical ability, sexual trauma survivors. There are many, many people for whom sex is not it. And all of the solutions exist today, assume that really is how we start our family and it's time to totally reinvent that story. We really need to update that, and change how we about creating families modern way. And so, all of that is to say, semen collection containers in the kit because you collect that semen sample much the way you went in the clinic into a container, and then it's poured into the applicator. So anyone for whom sex is not a part of their story, cool, we're here for you. We're all about access to not only affordable care, but also inclusive care. The rest of the kit has ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, to lead you through that full cycle. And then we're also launching a digital support product that guides you through much way you have your hand held in clinical environment. So we're working on building those things out, and looking to lauch it in the UK in July, next year.

Maiko:

Amazing. And your UK based company, right?

Tess:

Yeah, we are.

Maiko:

Amazing. Yeah, let's talk a bit more about some of the challenges are actually launching a product like this and then into more of a kind of broader inter entrepreneurial challenges. So what have you seen so far on your journey was your biggest barrier, biggest challenge to sort out, to actually get this to market? What's been on top of mind for you?

Tess:

Yeah, that's a great question. We've navigated a few, I think from a business perspective, building regulated medical hardware, there's so much complexity there that is not an easy thing to do, and it takes time and it takes money. And if you look at the data from the FDA on average, to get a 5 10K I classification of device from concept through the commercialization takes about two and a half years and $5 million on average. So it's a long journey. The 5 million dollars part is pretty important because it means you have to go and raise that, and I think one of the biggest barriers we faced candidly is access to capital. Your fundraising is such a difficult thing to do, especially in this environment, and it really just takes your focus off the business. So when you're an early stage team and it's just you, as it was for us in the early days. My co-founder still had a full-time job. When I was raising the business wasn't moving forward because you're really just focused on raising and honestly, it's really hard. I remember when I was raising my first funding round, you used to see these headlines ensifted of, this startup raises a million and this startup raises 10 million and this startup, and if you read sifted, you'd walk away and think, racing's really easy. And actually it's totally the opposite, it really is the opposite. And when I opened my first funding round, I had no idea what I was doing. I read Venture Deals by Brad Feld, and then I sat down and I Googled how to raise money in London, and that was it, that was how I started. And 8 months on and 284 conversations later, I finally had raised my preceiver. And it was probably the longest eight months of my life, it was just constant rejection. And I compared my journey to the articles and sifted and I thought, like, is it me? Am I doing this wrong? What's going on here? And actually we don't talk about enough, but. Access to capital and fundraising is probably one of the most significant challenges that early stage founders face, especially if you're building something that maybe doesn't exist or that investors can't easily draw. Comparisons to other things, we're building consumer facing medical devices. All of the MedTech funds are like, whoa, consumer facing, and one of the consumer funds are like, whoa, hardware between the two of them, we didn't fit a single fund thesis. And so I think really when we talk about challenges, certainly that's been one of them.

Maiko:

Wow. Yeah, there's so much to unwind and to dive deeper into obviously we have impact hustlers, we have our impact hustlers community for founders where we support founders. And yeah, that's the common thread. Funding access to funding. Especially because, everybody's talking about lean and obviously you want to have some traction before you raise investment and things like that. And there's just certain sectors like in your case, you just can't start selling without anything else and then raise investment later. I guess like the kind of framework for most investors has been either you have traction or you have a founding team that has built a amazingly successful company before Daniel, you'll probably have a relatively easy to fundraise, now how did you actually succeed in the end? Was it just a pure persistence or is there anything that you did figure out along this painful journey?

Tess:

Honestly, grit and persistence. I think I said it a little earlier, but it took me 284 conversations to raise 500K. And what was so interesting about that is our precinct round was 500k. It was just a slew of rejection, it was really one of the longest periods of my life. And right at the time that we close the funding round. We won an Innovate UK grant for 300K and I remember this so clearly, sifted broke our funding announcement. They got the exclusive on it and suddenly there was this big headline one morning in April that said, Bea Fertility raises a million dollars. It was like, where did that come from? That's so they'd taken the 500K precinct and the Innovate UK grant converted it to dollars at whatever conversion rate they chose. And we were one of those million dollar headlines, and I remember feeling so conflicted reading this, cause I thought I'm one of those headlines now and this was not what that race was like. But I mean you have to take wins and celebrate we raised around and it was great but it really did made me laugh.

Maiko:

That's so interesting. Startup journalism I think is, I love sifted in many ways, but startup journalism is broken in so many ways. I think the kind of tech crunch type reporting is all good and fine and all, I understand why they're doing it, but It's just so much more to it. And I think for founders it creates really this fake environment of everybody's just raising these crazy amounts and why am I not? And the other thing I'm sure you've faced some, I assume is this thing that we briefly spoke about is oh, is this kind of a niche thing where obviously investors are predominantly male. For some reason, there's still plenty of investors out there that think that serving female customers is some sort of niche minority group that's not half of the population And by the way, this is not just female customers. This is actually more complex than that, right? As you said. So, tell us about your stories that you experienced when fundraising in terms of the space being biased against female founders, against products that are perceived as, oh, this is only for this niche, tell us about that?

Tess:

I had a lot of very funny stories. I used to keep notes and catalog all of them cause I thought one day I'm gonna look back on this and laugh. I think there were a few things that were up against us. It was an interesting time to race generally cause we were on the cusp of the second lockdown. There was a lot of uncertainty around the direction that Covid was gonna go. I opened my funding round in July. Don't ever open a funny run in July, everyone goes away on vacation in August. But I think what was really interesting is I'm a non-technical female founder, creating a very technical business. There was a lot that was implied around that. I remember pitching a syndicate, and I don't think this was by design, but the syndicate happened to be all male. And I remember the head of the syndicate put time in my calendar after my pitch, my sort of practice pitch. I was like, oh, great, maybe they're interested. And he spent 25 minutes teaching me how to animate my slides. So that. Investors could absorb the information a little easier. And I just remember sitting through this and thinking, I'm not sure this is the best use of my time. It was just one of those examples all the time, this is for women. And I was like, actually the technology, addresses this sperm problem more than it does female fertility. So for men, if men could just admit to themselves that they have a sperm problem. There's your audience, but there were a lot of moments in that first funding round where people, they really doubt or yeah, it pure persistence gets you through, but certainly there were some sort of unique challenges on top of just raising capital, being the sort of main one.

Maiko:

Do you have any advice for female founders navigating that environment that you found useful?

Tess:

Any advice? I think so deeply about this all the time and I think about how we can fix this. It's such a difficult thing because, if you look at the stats on VC, it's still pretty horrifying. I think it's 2% of all VC capital, or it might be even lower now, goes to female founded in lead teens. That is the reality of the environment in which you're operating and you are not going to be able to change it yourself in the timeframe in which you need to raise that round. So I think one of the things that's so hard about it is it's not like a problem that we can just solve and then go and build our companies. It's a reality that we face and we need to accept it, hate it, and just know that it makes you, certainly with me, you're a more resilient founder, you're a stronger founder, the bar is higher, and so your work, is better. Ultimately you'll come out on top.

Maiko:

Got it. Now if we move away from fundraising and looking at building the company more broadly, what's coming to mind when I ask you about the biggest challenges you had to overcome outside of fundraising or learnings, just things that stuck with you, were like, oh, I didn't expect that. Anything that comes to mind there?

Tess:

So many lessons. I think someone once said startups are like babies. They're so incredibly fragile, and also so incredibly resilient, they can survive a lot. I reflected on that. I thought, god, do you know what, that's so true? We survived at the same time that we were raising a second round one of the key moments in the life of Bae was when we decided that we'd injection molded our first run of prototype devices. So we'd taken the manufacturing process quite far, had cut tooling, it, cut steel, created tools thought that we were almost on the cusp of the final switches of getting to market. And then we ran a trial and we were live streaming this usability study, watching people use and handle the device using the medical model. I remember it so clearly, I wasn't watching this cause I was on a call, like co founder called me that he never calls me on my phone, something's going on, one of the devices broke. Now we're medically regulated, so when a device breaks in a study, you have to show them you've dealt with it. And it was just this pivotal moment where I sat back and I thought, huh, we can push forward on the path we're on and prioritize getting to market and know that the device might maybe just not be perfect or we can pull the plug, go back to the beginning, push our launch date by a year, and build this thing right, and run the risk of getting to our next funding round with nothing, and knowing how hard that's gonna make it to raise not being on the market. We picked the latter. It was more important to us to build it right than to get it to market. I suppose the lesson I took away from that and the piece of advice that I always share and this actually was important to me by a very dear friend in advisor in New York and what he said was, make a decision. And the story I tell, I have a favorite bakery in New York and it's called Lady M and we're walking around New York and my advisor says, left or right. And if you know New York City when you're downtown, it's not the grid system, the streets are all over the place. So he's like left or right, I was like, I dont know the way to bakery you do? Lisa no, I left or right, oh left. And then we get to the next junction left and right. It's like, I don't know, you know where this place is, I don't, it's like left or right, I'm like right. And eventually we get to a point where I realize and he articulated it so beautifully. It's not a question of turning left and getting to cake and turning right and walking into a burning building and dying. It's never cake or death, it is always just a decision and what's so important about that is if you're not making a decision, you're not moving forward. You're not course correcting and you're not learning. And early on in my journey as a founder, these decisions felt so big and I was paralyzed by them and I wouldn't make them, I'd sit on them for 3, 6, 7 months worrying, trying to map out the options, trying to figure it out. But fundamentally, by not making the decision, I was costing myself time and I wasn't moving forward. In the case where the device broke, we could have pushed and to market with a crap device, we chose not to. I look back on that and I still really believe that there was no right or wrong decision in that moment. There was just a decision, whether we fix the device now or we pull it off the market and fix it later, that opens up your next decision. And if you take three lefts to get to your right, imagine all the stuff that you learn along the way. I think for me, that was really the most powerful piece of advice. Your job as a founder is to make decisions quickly.

Maiko:

Wow, this is so important to share, thank you so much. I can relate to it personally, I can relate to, with other founders. I think the speed at which you make decisions at which you make mistakes and adjust is really the biggest differentiator for success because you can actually not plan out the whole journey in advance and foresee everything. So that's the only thing you have, yeah.

Tess:

You're absolutely right, and when you look at a decision as an opportunity to course correct, suddenly it's not so scary anymore, there's no right or wrong.

Maiko:

Now you are in a regulated space and that's why I'm keen to understand a bit more on your thinking on that. Again we don't need to talk about lean startup and moving fast and breaking things and all these kind of concepts that are out there for founders to, launch quickly, launch early, get it out there, get people to use it doesn't matter if it's not perfect, if you screw up, you try again. Obviously in a regulatory space you have all kinds of issues if you do that, and anything ranging from basically just posing a risk to people using it up to, some high profile intentional fraud cases that happened that, I don't wanna put you close to at all. But like you'd need to have a framework to think about these things and be like, okay, I wanna move fast, I wanna run fast, I have to, because if I don't, I wanna make mistake, well, I don't wanna make mistakes, but I want to increase my rate of learning, while I have to navigate disregulated environment how do you think about that?

Tess:

Yeah, so it certainly adds a level of complexity, move fast and break things does not apply in our world. In the medical space there absolutely is the need to build products that are safe. I think this is where I learned another lesson is there is safe and effective and then there's perfect. As a founder you chase perfect, but really the bar is actually set at a slightly different place. The bar sits at, hey, is it safe? Can people use this thing safely and will it work? You don't wanna launch something that isnt going to help the patient that isn't going to be additive to the patient journey. And as long as you can tick those two boxes, perfect is another thing entirely. So in a medically regulated space, we do have the avid complexity of needing to adhere to medical regulation. Ton of hoops to jump through, bio compatibility testing, transport testing, you name it, we're gonna have to go through it. It's just the reality of the sector that we're in. You do what needs to be done to build a safe and effective device and everything else, be as lean as possible on.

Maiko:

Amazing. Yeah, that's a good way to think about it. And then how do you close the kind of feedback loop of your customers and developing further from your perspective, how do you do that?

Tess:

Yeah, good question. So actually, like we're regulated, which means we have to collect postmarket surveillance data and conduct postmarket clinical follow ups. So we will have to speak to people, we will have to understand the journey and collect the data on how it was for them using the device. In terms of closing the feedback loop, we actually have a very interesting way to do that in that it's a subscription product. You try 3, 4, 5, 6, cycles of treatment, that's really where you get the highest efficacy. So from a feedback perspective, we have an opportunity to touch base with our users every month. How are you doing? How did that go? Can we help? And what we find is that this is a journey that people really need support on. I think when you're, trying for baby and it's not working, we often find that people just need to be told that they're okay, they're doing the right thing and they're okay and sometimes it just takes time. And so we have wonderful opportunities to touch base with our users and our families. And really once we get this thing to market, what'll be most interesting about it is those who conceive and those who don't. And you said it earlier in the intro, Michael, that the efficacy rate across six cycles of treatment for our devices, 50%. It's such an interesting thing as a founder to launch a product where you know, statistically half of your users will not succeed with that product, and that feels hard, that feels in many ways that doesn't feel right? But then you look at the efficacy rates of fertility clinics and treatments globally, for IVF, it sits anywhere between 25% and 35% for one cycle. So, we're doing a good thing. But what that means is that almost half or half of our users, their journey's not over, it doesn't end with us. We're need to support them onto next their journey, and that is also a really wonderful opportunity to get feedback and close our feedback loop little bit as we support them into what's next.

Maiko:

Really important and showing that you're there to take them on that journey, as well as managing expectations, right? You don't want to create yourself in an environment where half your customers are disappointed with you because you didn't get them the results, but that's just the way the method works, right?

Tess:

Exactly. It's not make up a perfume, we can't make any promises here, and we've gotta be very careful not to.

Maiko:

Yeah, got it. Let's talk a bit about the future before we wrap up. If you look ahead now, where are you at right now and what's coming up in the next couple of years, what kind of hoops do you still need to jump through to make this widely available, and how do you see the company growing? Lots of questions there, but just the future.

Tess:

Just the future many hoops to jump through. So I said earlier, we're launching in the UK in July, so we have to do a whole market launch. The product is largely finished in design, so now we need to spin up a production environment, get that tested it's called sort of verification validation. So all of that's going on in the background with the hardware. On the market launch side of things, we're looking at, who is this best for? How do we find them? How do we make sure that the people using this are, have a good chance of success? And so we've got a lot of hoops to jump through there. In terms of the future, some of the bigger pieces that we're looking at is the US market launch. So the UK is one thing, but the US really is where there is such an enormous need for care. There's 16, 18 million women in the US who live in an area with no fertility clinic, they're called fertility deserts. And so what we're trying to do really is get as quickly as we can into the US market to help improve access to affordable care in the US. So that'll be a big hoop, especially from a regulatory perspective. The FDA has all of its own things that we need to do. More broadly, I think there's an opportunity to improve the entire family building journey, and reinvent it a little bit. If you ask me what the future looks like for Bea, I would say that, I would love for Bea to be the company that is there for every family. It doesn't matter what your family means to you. It could be, me, Susan, and four cats. It could be Jim, John, and a surrogate and a donor. It could be whoever's in your family, and maybe it is mom and dad, and 2.5 children, it doesn't matter to us. Whatever your family looks like, whoever's in the team we're here for you. To support you with the things that you need to go from wanting a family to having a family that you always wanted. And boy, if we can create a journey that is a little less painful, a little less stressful, a little less heartbreaking, we've made it, that'd be great.

Maiko:

Love it. My last question is very connected to what you just answered, but just wanna move us to the time, 10 years from now. If we think about 10 years from now, year 2032 or three almost by the time we're releases, is how does the word look like if Bea Fertility succeeds? You hinted at it already.

Tess:

All I can think about right now is that I'll be 41 in 10 years, and I'm thinking, what will I look like? What will the world look like for Bea? I think I hinted at it if we can, be the company that everyone turns to the moment they decide they wanna start a family knowing that they may not need us, but we're here if they do. And what does that look like? I think I see a world where, Everyone can get the advice, the information that they need, the education that they need, people can get the treatment, the diagnostic, they can access their care and suddenly building a family goes from something that's deeply frustrating to something that you have the support you need, and if in 10 years we are in a position to offer that for every family, cool.

Maiko:

Amazing. Wishing you all the best on that journey. I know there will be many challenges ahead, but I hope they're gonna be resolved quickly. The rate of learning is gonna be high and there's not gonna be major roadblocks for you to Good to that level. All the best for you.

Tess:

Thank you, it's been such a pleasure to chat to you, thank you.

Maiko:

Thank you. I enjoyed it too, thanks for joining.

Tess Cosad’s background
Fertility & Infertility, who actually has this problem?
How do existing solutions work?
Why was IUI the go-to treatment?
Strategy behind bringing back the treatment into the market
Challenges and barriers in launching the product
Success factors for the business
Experiences during a biassed system during fundraising
Advice for other female founders in that field of work
Challenges or lessons in building a company
Thoughts on learning and same time navigating dysregulated environment
How do you navigate customer feedback vs your perspective
Future challenges that you need to overcome to make a step forward
Tess’s 10-year vision